This is a guide through the eco-regions and down the scenic byways of the state's natural world, from grasslands to mountains to deserts, focusing on some of the most interesting landscape features and the plants and wildlife found therein.
The six eco-regions include the Chihuahuas Desert, bordering Mexico; the Great Basin Desert, spilling over from Nevada, Utah, and Arizona; the Great Plains Grassland covering the eastern prairies; the Great Basin Grassland occupying the middle Rio Grande Valley westward; the alpine Montane Forests of the Sangre de Cristo and Sandia mountains; and the Pinon-Juniper Woodlands scattered throughout the mountain bases.
New Mexico is third among states of greatest natural diversity, exceeded only by Texas and California.
The elevation ranges from 2,842 feet where the Pecos River flows out of New Mexico to 13,161 at the snowy summit Wheeler Peak.
A gamut of geological substrates and soil types provide a wide range of growing conditions for plants.
More than nine-tenths of New Mexico's land remains in native or near-native condition, unchanged by human hands.
This "living landscape" is wonderfully varied, ranging from vast rose-colored deserts that contrast with expanses of native grasslands; endless mesas and escarpments, fresh black lava flows, river valleys and rugged mountains.
This colourfully illustrated book provides readers with an understanding of the natural elements that define the environments of New Mexico and directs road travellers to some of their more interesting features.